The Natural Drug And Alcohol Alternative That May Transform The Future Of Mental Health: Everything You Need To Know About Kava With Cameron George.

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Body, Health & Wellness, Mental Health, Mind-Spirit, Podcast, Podcast-new, Supplements

Cameron George, my guest on today's podcast, is a researcher, writer, entrepreneur, and the founder of TRU KAVA, a company that is striving to set the industry standard for quality, safety, and education around kava within the mass market.

TRU KAVA is focused on developing scalable user-friendly products that deliver the full therapeutic action of the traditional kava drink, which is the only form that has been highly prized in South Pacific islands for over 3,000 years.

Since discovering the amazing effects of traditional kava during his own chronic illness, Cameron George spent many years investigating every aspect of kava and has collaborated with many of the most prominent experts in the world within the fields of kava research and historical kava use. The goal of this project was to provide the safest and most effective kava products on the market, as well as educate the public on the complex story surrounding kava, explaining some of the myths, the massive variation of quality on the market, and the many amazing benefits that kava can offer to the modern world when it’s used correctly in its traditional form. Cameron's work is an initiative to educate on the clear distinction that the scientific literature and historical accounts have made between safe and questionable kava products, as well as to advocate for the use of only lab-tested safe kava varieties.

Kava is commonly known as “the great protector” because it is one of nature’s most profound and complete protective substances. This means that when humans consume kava, it helps both protect the body from stress and rid the body of all forms of built-up stress (physical, chemical, emotional). Most of kava’s many effects stem from this fundamental characteristic about kava and are part of this multifaceted protective process. These protective mechanisms include:

  • GABA A receptor binding
  • Calcium channel blocking
  • Nrf2 upregulation
  • COX (cyclooxygenase) inhibition
  • AMPK activation
  • MAO B inhibition
  • Psychedelic properties (Very strong classic psychedelic medicines such as Psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and Ayahuasca have been used to induce highly creative introspective states of mind. These amazing, altered states have been shown to allow individuals to very effectively address and heal underlying past trauma in their lives and kava seems to have similar effects!). Kava is very well known historically for its very gentle entheogenic (psychedelic) effects that bring about creative and introspective thinking, thus making users more empathetic over time. Unlike other classic psychedelic compounds (such as psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, DMT, Ayahuasca, cannabis, etc.), kava has much more subtle psychedelic properties that don’t affect a person’s ability to function in everyday circumstances.

And a whole lot more!

Cameron's formula, known as TRU KAVA, is a new patented form of traditional kava and is currently the only mass user-ready kava product on the market that has these subtle psychedelic effects on the mind. Additionally, absolutely no pesticides or industrial chemicals are used at any step of their process. Each batch of kava root is independently lab-tested to ensure that it meets all of the previously mentioned quality and safety standards. All of their products are refined and packaged in palatable forms, making them extremely versatile and easy for anyone to use.

In this discussion with Cameron George, you'll discover:

-The benzodiazepine (benzo) epidemic, and the plant renaissance that is sweeping the land…09:15

  • CBD, hemp, cannabis, etc. are the darlings of the industry
  • Feel Free Wellness Tonic
  • Psilocybin is moving toward legalization; ketamine and others
  • Benzodiazepine epidemic on par with opioids
  • Anything that ends with “am” is a benzodiazepine
  • These are easy shortcuts to coping with the stresses of our era
  • Withdrawal symptoms are so severe they can potentially cause death

-Cameron George and the personal slice of hell suffered at the hands of benzodiazepines…14:55

  • Inspiration path vs. the desperation path; desperation often precipitates the journey which leads to inspiration
  • Highly functional individual; prolific athlete
  • The collapse of health which couldn't be traced to a single diagnosis
  • A psychiatrist prescribed a bunch of drugs which made things go from bad to worse to unspeakable
  • Borrowing from tomorrow to pay for today
  • Ace Ventura meets Breaking Bad living situation
  • A blood-flow brain scan revealed levels of 80-year-olds with dementia
  • This led to a deep dive into the realm of nutrition, microbiome health, gut health, etc.

-How he path of desperation leads to that of inspiration…24:50

  • Dr. Dan Pompa: “Fix the cell to get well”

-Why kava kava is not kava in its purest form…35:15

  • Extraction and processing
  • Plants are living organisms with thousands of functioning elements
  • Some medicines extract better with solvents
  • Kava loses 80-90% of the effects profile when extracted with solvents (as is kava kava)

-Concerns about the effects of kava on the liver…39:20

  • Ignorance and misperception; context is key
  • No reports of liver issues in 3,000 years of use in Fiji and Vanuatu
  • All claims of liver toxicity quote the same source
  • Pharma companies used parts of the kava plant that were more or less waste products to cut costs
  • Roots are not exposed to the elements as are the aerial parts of the plant
  • True kava is the root, not the aerial parts
  • Liver damage occurs when the leaves of the plant are consumed rather than the root
  • Real kava has been shown to actually improve the liver's health

-The cultural significance of kava in the South Pacific…50:56

  • The most sacred substance in Vanuatu
  • Holds the social fabric together in those areas
  • Vanuatu and Fiji has 20x more kava bars than alcohol bars
  • Subtle psychedelic effects (sober psychedelic)

-Positive benefits of kava on the body and mind…54:35

  • It has one of the largest bodies of research and literature
  • Protective qualities
  • Calm down cells and systems around them
  • Hormetic effects on NRF2
  • Metabolic effects; AMPK activator
  • Potential positive effects on treating cancer
  • Recipe for accelerating fat-burning and autophagy pathways
    • Coffee (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
    • Kava (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
    • C8 (use code BEN to save 10%) or MCT oil
  • Shot of ketone esters with kava and kratom for hyper-focused productivity
  • Kanna
  • GABA component; helps sleep architecture
  • Improvements in deep and REM sleep

-Where TRU KAVA is sourced…1:05:05

  • Everything is grown in Vanuatu
  • Organic, toxin-free, no pesticides, etc.
  • Harvesting and drying methods that prevent mold
  • Fresh kava is more potent than dried kava
  • Working on food classification similar to coffee

-Why Ben and Cameron George are so excited about kava…1:10:15

  • Greatest therapeutic effect to drawback ratio of any plant medicine
  • Similar to a microdose without compromising faculties
  • Alcohol without the drunkenness
  • This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan
  • Shape new elements of the social fabric in the West

-How to obtain TRU KAVA for yourself…1:15:15

-And much more!

Upcoming Events:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Cameron George:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Got a question or comment for Cameron George or myself? Leave a comment below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

13 thoughts on “The Natural Drug And Alcohol Alternative That May Transform The Future Of Mental Health: Everything You Need To Know About Kava With Cameron George.

  1. Tony says:

    Hey – I was curious.

    Is there any connection between Kava and cholesterol?

    If you look at the forums, people seem to be drawing a connection.

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      this is on my list of questions for an upcoming Q&A episode, stay tuned!

  2. Anthony Winn says:

    Great stuff! Curious – how does Kava affect cholesterol?

  3. Luke says:

    Looking online it says that kava can cause liver damage. Is this a concern?

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      hey Luke, this is discussed here:

  4. Ann says:

    My guess is Indiana is the sixth state that was mentioned that prohibits this herb. I could not get the shipping on this site to respond to my address. I so wanted to try this.
    Thank you for testing and recommending this anyway, Ben.

  5. Siddhartha says:

    I want to try this but should I be concerned about the sunflower oil that I’m guessing is used as a carrier oil?

  6. Beth says:

    Enjoyed the podcast. Ordered some TruKava. Am curious if you started with a full

    Dropper or is it better to start out low and slow and see how you react?


  7. Dima says:

    I just listened to the podcast and will order some of the Tru Kava products right away. My hesitation is which one may be the best for me. I have struggled with hypnic jerks since March 2020, basically night jerks that keep me from falling asleep. I have mostly controlled them by taking CBD sleep oil and melatonin at night. But a month ago after especially stressful time in my life they became so bad that I could not fall asleep with natural remedies for nights. GP was quick to prescribe Lorazepam and even though I hate taking it it is the only thing that puts me to sleep now. But unless I take 2mg of it, which is a lot snd I have only done a couple of times, my prescribed 1mg of Lorazepsm only gives me a few hours of sleep. GP wants to increase the dosage but I do not want to go down that path so looking for anything natural to help me sleep. On a side note, the jerks are mostly stress and caffeine related so I have worked a lot on cutting caffeine off my diet and managing stress with breathing, yoga, infrared sauna, Joovv light (many ideas taken from Ben’s podcast) and recently ordered the Apollo wearable and the Circadia brain stimulation technology (the last two I have not received yet). So to summarize even though the jerks now are fewer and lighter and not what disturbed my sleep my body is so out of whack that I still can not fall asleep or stay asleep fir more than 3-5h a night. I will continue to try natural remedies and would like to start with Tru Kava. Knowing I need it for sleep which of the three available products would you suggest snd how and when do I take it? Could you take it in conjunction with 15 mg Cbd Sleep oil for an even more powerful effect or with a product that is combination of Cbd/THC (25mg/2.5mg). I highly appreciate your help! I am so healthy otherwise and careful of what I eat, drink, I exercise regularly, but the no sleep has totally changed my life and I have not felt like myself for over a month and things just don’t seem to get any better. Thank you!

  8. Peter says:

    Loved the podcast. Great to know Cameron recovered from what sounded like a dead end. You guys didn’t really get into this but can you take Kava daily? Does one build up a tolerance and need to take breaks? Not that I would take it daily but interested in knowing if people do.

    1. Yes, I currently take daily…

  9. Denise says:

    Hey Ben,

    I had the pleasure of meeting Cameron and trying TruKava and also hearing him and Dr. Pompa speak first-hand in mid-Sept. I was especially looking for an alternative to alcohol. I also tried their not-yet-released bubbly soda, which TBH was a bit too sweet for my preferences. But we are HOOKED now, and I’m loving TruKava. In order to curb my cooking-with-wine dinner habit, I now pour a shot of TruKava into a sparkling water, mix it up, pour it into a stemmed glass, and it’s my mocktail, or as I call it my Kavtail (TM that for me!). Sometimes I’ll squeeze in a little lime or a splash of cranberry juice, but it really works. The best part is being so chill, NOT missing alcohol, and NEVER waking up with a hangover or forgetting what I did last night. I also add a dropper of the tincture to my coffee with MCT oil and blend it. I’m thrilled with these products; we keep it in our pantry and on order. True story! DJL in Atlanta

    1. Thank you for sharing this Denise… I'll get to work on your Kavtail TM ASAP! ;)

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